When you open your pantry and reach for a box of cereal, the last thing you want to find is a bunch of insects crawling around your food. Pantry pests are very common especially in long term stored food like rice, flour, sugar and oatmeal. Often we buy these types of items in bulk since they don’t expire as fast. What most people are unaware of is that they can be harboring pests. A-Tex Pest Management will share more about pantry pests, how they get in your home, and how you can control them.
Where Do Bugs in Kitchen Cabinets Come From?
Pantry pests are a category of insects that are found in stored food. Some of the most common types of pantry pests are cigarette beetles, drugstore beetles, Indian meal moths, flour beetles, rice weevils, and merchant grain beetles. Most pantry pests are part of the moth, beetle or weevil family. These pests are a major nuisance when preparing food and we find bugs crawling around inside the box. Pantry pests may already be present in your home as most pantry pests are brought into the home. As food is being processed many of these pantry pests will lay their eggs inside certain food and then they are packed and sold. Their eggs are so small they are impossible to detect. Many food manufacturers have certain pest management regulations to help prevent this problem. However, it still happens.
What Do Pantry Pest Larvae Eat?
Pest larvae will feed on a number of dried processed foods, for example, beans, grains, nuts, flour, spices, tobacco, cereal, dried fruits, and sugar. Most any food that you would store in a pantry will probably house a pantry pest. If the food is used or consumed fast enough, the eggs don’t have time to hatch and the larva won’t have time to mature. The eggs are so small most people don’t even know that they are eating them and they pose no threat to people. However, many people will buy certain items in bulk for long term storage. For example flour, sugar, rice, dry pasta, powder milk and nuts are often bought and stored since they can take years before they expire. These foods will have eggs that hatch, the larva matures and then begins infesting, breeding and laying their eggs inside your pantry, thus creating a major pantry pest problem. Where pantry pests are a common problem it is important for homeowners to work towards prevent pantry pests and preventing future infestation.
Pantry Pest Prevention
To prevent pantry pests, start with cleaning and organizing your home pantry and stored food. Clean out your pantry and make sure there is no food or crumbs that fell out on the pantry shelves. Don’t use any pesticides inside the pantry as it can contaminate food and lead to death. Many people think they need to use a pesticide to control pantry pests which is a mistake. Instead, get quality food containers that are air tight that can store your home pantry food. Make sure to cycle your food and use the older food first. Don’t let food stand too long. If you have food that is contaminated with pantry pests, discard it and begin fresh. One trick is to freeze longer term pantry food like flour or rice, or anything you know will be sitting in your pantry more than a month. Put pantry food in the freezer for 24 hours. This will kill any eggs that may have gotten in the food during processing, and will prevent the eggs from hatching. Another trick is hanging bay leaves in your pantry since it helps repel pantry pests.
Pantry Pest Inspections, Control & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park, Texas
If you need more help controlling pantry or other pests that may have invaded your home, contact A-Tex Pest Management. We provide quality pest control. To schedule our services, contact A-Tex Pest Management today.